House votes to dance on the graves of Confederate soldiers

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confederate flag by graveHouse lawmakers this week passed a measure that would prohibit the families of Civil War veterans buried in federal cemeteries from honoring their memory and Southern heritage by placing Confederate flags on the soldiers’ graves.The measure, which comes as an amendment to the 2016 Interior Department spending bill from Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), is aimed at ending a long-standing policy that has allowed temporary display of the flags for state Confederate Memorial Days.

A 2010 directive from National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis permitted the temporary display of small Confederate flags in cemeteries where Confederate memorial or decoration days are observed. The flags, according to the directive, were to be removed “as soon as possible” following the commemoration.

“We can honor that history without celebrating the Confederate flag and all of the dreadful things that it symbolizes,” he said of the measure which passed in the House following just two minutes of debate.

Another of the lawmaker’s proposals that sailed through the House would prohibit the sale of any Confederate-themed merchandise by gift shops and bookstores associated with national parks.

Huffman said in a statement:

With the consideration of the Interior Appropriations bill, this House has the opportunity to add its voice by ending the promotion of the cruel, racist legacy of the Confederacy. The National Park Service has asked its gift shops, bookstores, and other concessionaires to voluntarily end the sale of stand-alone items such as flags, pins, and belt buckles that contain imagery of the Confederate flag. While many concessionaires have agreed, I am dismayed by reports that some will continue to sell items with Confederate flag imagery.